Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION
Posted: 11/24/2012 1:00 AM | Comments: 0
EDMONTON -- Canada's food safety regulator says it suspended an Alberta meat packer's operating licence because the company gave wrong information about a product that could contain potentially dangerous bacteria.
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency shut down Edmonton-based Capital Packers on Thursday and announced the company was recalling two brands of ham sausages.
The agency said when a test for Listeria on a worker's clothing came back positive on Monday, the company said none of the sausages had been distributed to retailers.
But Paul Mayers, a CFIA vice-president, said inspectors found some of the suspect meat had left the plant.
"The information provided indicated that all related product was under control," he said Friday from Ottawa. "Our investigation, which immediately was initiated on receipt of the notification of the result, uncovered that indeed some product had been distributed."
None of the sausages has tested positive for Listeria. He said the recall is a precaution to ensure none of the potentially tainted meat ends up on dinner plates.
The company will not be allowed to resume operations until it addresses the problems and CFIA officials said they're confident the plant is managing food-safety risks.
The bacteria can lead to an infection called listeriosis, which can cause high fever, severe headache, neck stiffness and nausea.
In 2008, 22 people died and dozens of others became sick after eating Listeria-contaminated deli meats from a Maple Leaf Foods plant in Toronto.
There has been no reports of people becoming ill from eating the Capital Packers sausages, which were being sold at Loblaws and Sobeys stores in Western Canada under the Compliments and Capital brands.
Mayers also cited other, unrelated food-safety issues at Capital Packers that date back to September 2011. Some of the problems have been corrected and some are still being dealt with, CFIA officials said.
Capital Packers president Brent Komarnicki said the voluntary recall involves 378 cases of sausages. Each case contains 10 packages of meat.
He admitted the company's paperwork related to the recall was not satisfactory and pledged to work with the CFIA.
"We have an ineffective recall program that we need to resolve and improve on, so the documentation is readily available for the inspectors when they request it," Komarnicki said. "That is where our failure was."
He was adamant that the licence suspension had nothing to do with food hygiene at the plant.
"We were not able to properly provide them the documentation around this recall program and that is what threw us into suspension," he said.
"It is not to do with the quality of the product or the plant cleanliness or sanitation or anything like that."
On its website, Capital Packers describes itself as an 82-year-old third-generation family-owned business.
It employs about 100 people who were sent home on Friday, Komarnicki said.
The website said the company produces 153 varieties of fresh meats, 13 varieties of cooked meats, 151 varieties of smoked meats and nine varieties of pickled meats.
On Sept. 27, the CFIA suspended the licence of XL Foods in Brooks, Alta., a meat-packing plant at the centre of an extensive recall of tainted beef. Its operating licence was restored in late October.
Three weeks before the CFIA suspended XL's licence, the agency reported it was having difficulty getting information from the company about its product distribution and testing results.
-- The Canadian Press
Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition November 24, 2012 B7
Having problems with the form?Contact Us Directly
Philippine economic growth slows to 6.1 per cent last year
Montana oil spill cleanup to slow as river gets dangerous
First-day frenzy forces Vegas White Castle to close
Ice thaw may have caused bricks to fall onto store's roof
More leaving on a jet plane
Samsung's 4Q profit drops but beats forecast
Nobel laureate Charles Townes, laser co-creator, dies at 99
Tupperware and Apple are big market movers
McDonald's CEO steps down as sales decline
PotashCorp ups quarterly dividend 9%
San Gold shares halted as miner faces cash woes
How the Dow Jones industrial average fared Wednesday
Court: Media don't have to delete stories when charges nixed
Super Bowl advertisers aim not to offend
Former Arizona Republic publisher dies at age 67
GM must decide Oshawa plant's fate now: union
Most actively traded companies on the TSX
Imperial evaluating future of gas stations
Owners of Ohio mansion gutted by fire sue insurer for $60M
US stocks slump as another dip in oil drags down the market
Facebook beats Street 4Q forecasts
Bankruptcy judge approves financing for Trump Entertainment
4 buddies did unheard of in 'World Series' of NFL betting
Comparing US Federal Reserve's views on rate rise timing
S&P close to $1.37B deal over risky mortgage bond ratings
Toyota recalls 52,000 Avalons for fire risk
California declares electronic cigarettes a health threat
Sheriffs expand concerns about Waze mobile traffic app
Fed stays 'patient' on rates while noting improving economy
NAFTA environment watchdog won't probe oilsands
Air Force probing alleged 'treason' remark by general
Romney takes aim at Obama, Clinton in Mississippi
Main Denver airport bans sale of marijuana-themed souvenirs
Pipeline not state-inspected before 3M-gallon saltwater leak
Petrobras releases profit drop in 3rd quarter 2014
Huge YouTube bulk makes it tough to catch all terror videos
Panel unanimously OKs bill easing employee health care count
Jets hire brother of judge in New Jersey sports betting suit
Mobile provider TracFone to pay $40M in federal settlement